Posted on February 26, 2017

Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) has achieved the Healthcare Information Management System Society’s (HIMSS) Analytics EMRAMSM Stage 6 level of distinction - an international benchmark for the use of advanced information technology (IT) to improve patient care.

It is the first outpatient (ambulatory) based clinic in Qatar to achieve the HIMSS Analytics EMRAMSM 6 certification. The accreditation was achieved for using electronic medical records and other supporting technologies to enhance the quality of care provided to patients and families at the Sidra Outpatient Clinic.

Michael LeRoy, Chief Information Officer of Sidra said, “To achieve HIMSS Stage 6 certification within eight months of opening our outpatient clinic is a major milestone for Sidra. It puts the Sidra Outpatient Clinic in the same exclusive league as some of the top technologically advanced hospitals in the world. Patients and their families can be reassured that we are committed to best practice methodologies for the benefit of their safety and well-being. This is a strong endorsement of our ongoing objective to invest in skilled talent and leading edge technologies to provide safe and world-class healthcare services for the women and children in Qatar.”

The Sidra Outpatient Clinic successfully passed the 0-6 stages of HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAMSM).  The EMRAMSM stage 6 is awarded to hospitals that have achieved a comprehensive list of IT requirements. One of the key technology features available at the Sidra Outpatient Clinic is that of the Computer Physician Order Entry (CPOE). This allows physicians to directly enter patient data including medication orders. The CPOE has been proven to drastically reduce errors in areas such as medication administration and dosage, illegible handwriting and patient allergy alerts. Another safety feature is the five rights of “closed loop” medication administration – where patient records and medications both have bar codes to ensure that the right dose is administered to the right patient at the right time.

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The majority of the Sidra Outpatient Clinic’s medical devices, software applications and technologies have been integrated to allow data to be automatically entered into a patient’s records. For example, every time a patient has a blood pressure, temperature or other result – the device sends the information immediately to that patient’s medical records. This in turn allows the physician or nurse to spend more time interacting with the patient rather than having to re-type the data into their records, and ensuring correct data entry.

Dr. Khalid Alyafei, Acting Chief of Medical Informatics at Sidra said, “Achieving this accolade highlights the strategic set up for the outpatient clinic and the commitment of all the people working at Sidra - to ensure patient safety and care will not be compromised. The integration of different types of technologies within Sidra has a direct impact on improving patient access and quality of care. Not only are there cost and resource efficiencies – it also provides us accurate detailing on diagnoses and a safe and effective way to exchange details between practitioners. This is particularly relevant at Sidra as our referral patients continuum of care is spread across practitioners at Sidra and HMC or PHCC.”

Sidra’s 3D printing technology has also been integrated with patient electronic medical records, enabling clinicians to directly order a 3D model of medical scans. This allows surgeons to plan ahead of time for surgery in terms of procedures and equipment. By reviewing an actual 3D model of the patient’s anatomy – it minimizes the risk of sudden surprises during the surgery process. The 3D feature can also help patients have a more in-depth understanding of any proposed surgical procedures and will provide them with all the information about their treatment.

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“Sidra Medical and Research Center is making good progress using its electronic medical records to drive improvements in its healthcare operations.  Being the first validated outpatient EMRAM Stage 6 in Qatar, they are demonstrating their commitment to providing the best healthcare services possible through their information technology investments,” said John H. Daniels, Global Vice President, Healthcare Advisory Services Group, HIMSS Analytics.

The EMRAM model is an eight stage process (0-7) that measures a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications. It is a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. Hospitals can track and review their progress in completing each stage as they proceed towards the ultimate goal of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment that delivers safety and efficiency improvements.

“We remain committed to improving our healthcare practices through further investment and implementation in IT systems and leading edge technologies. We are fast-tracking our ambition to become a fully paperless electronic healthcare facility. And we have our sights firmly set on achieving the highest level - HIMSS 7 – which Sidra will work towards attaining once our in-patient services are available at the main hospital,” concluded Mr. LeRoy.

The top five ways Sidra’s HIMSS Analytics EMRAMSM 6 certification will benefit patients:

  1. Key patient services related to appointments, vital signs, medical history and follow up referrals – are now integrated with their electronic medical records.
  2. Patients have access to all the information about their treatment and services - ensuring that they are active participants in their journey of medication and treatment.
  3. 24 hour easy and secure electronic access to medical files on the Sidra patient portal - which can be viewed externally by patients in Qatar or when overseas.
  4. Paperless integration of patient information does away with having to carry paper files from doctor to doctor or to different locations
  5. Assurance that medication dosage and requirements has already been verified by the time patients proceed to the Sidra pharmacy after their clinical visit.